Eight of Liberty's players were named to the 2017 Big South Football Preseason All-Conference team, which was released earlier today by the conference office.
The announcement of the 2017 Big South Football Preseason All-Conference team and the 2017 Big South Preseason Football Poll highlighted the conference's Big South Football Media Day event held at the Charlotte Marriott City Center hotel in Uptown Charlotte.
Liberty, Charleston Southern and Kennesaw State dominated the preseason all-conference team, claiming 22 spots on the 28-player listing.
The Flames and the Owls each placed eight players on the team, while defending Big South champion Charleston Southern had six preseason selections. Monmouth had four players named to the team, while Gardner-Webb rounded out the listing with a pair of selections.
During Liberty's final year as a FCS program, the Flames are eligible for all Big South preseason, regular season and postseason awards. Liberty will play a full Big South schedule in 2017 and games against Liberty will count in the Big South standings.
However, because Liberty has started the two-year FBS reclassification process, the Flames are not eligible for the Big South conference title nor the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Therefore, Liberty was not included in the 2017 Big South Football Preseason Poll.
Charleston Southern and Kennesaw State finished tied for first place in the Big South preseason poll, each garnering 80 total votes and nine first-place votes.
Gardner-Webb was predicted to finish in third place with 54 votes, followed by Monmouth (36 votes) and Presbyterian (20 votes).
Liberty's preseason all-conference selections include: Carrington Mosley (RB, R-Sr.), Dontae Duff (OL, R-So.), Juwan Wells (DL, Jr.), Chris Turner (DB, R-Jr.), Alex Probert (K, So.), Trey Turner (P, Gr.), Hunter Winstead (LS, Gr.) and Frankie Hickson (KR, R-So.).
Probert, Trey Turner, Wells and Winstead each earned All-Big South first team honors in 2016, while Duff, Hickson and Chris Turner were second-team honorees, last season.
The 2017 season serves as Liberty's 16th and final year in the Big South Conference for football. Liberty, one of four founding members of the conference in 2002, will compete as a FBS independent team in 2018 and will gain full FBS status in 2019, including being eligible to compete in bowl games.
Liberty opens the 2017 season at Baylor on Sept. 2 and will begin Big South play on Oct. 14 when the Flames host Kennesaw State at Williams Stadium during Homecoming Weekend.
2017 Big South Football Preseason All-Conference Team
OFFENSE – SCHOOL - YR QB - Tyrell Maxwell, Gardner-Webb, Sr. RB - Carrington Mosely, Liberty, R-Sr. RB - Darnell Holland, Kennesaw State, Jr. WR, Reggie White Jr., Monmouth, R-Jr. WR - Justin Sumpter, Kennesaw State, R-Jr. WR - Kameron Brown, Charleston Southern, R-So. TE - Jake Powell, Monmouth, So. OL - Frank Cirone, Charleston Southern, Sr. OL - Dontae Duff, Liberty, R-So. OL - Will Millikan, Gardner-Webb, Jr. OL - Zach Mitchler, Kennesaw State, R-Jr. OL - Alex Thompson, Monmouth, Sr.
DEFENSE – SCHOOL - YR DL - Anthony Ellis, Charleston Southern, Sr. DL - Tonarius Portress, Kennesaw State, Sr. DL - Desmond Johnson, Kennesaw State, R-So. DL - Juwan Wells, Liberty, Jr. LB - Solomon Brown, Charleston Southern, R-Jr. LB - Zane Cruz, Charleston Southern, Sr. LB - Anthony Gore Jr., Kennesaw State, R-Jr. LB - Izzy Sam, Kennesaw State, R-Sr. DB - Mike Basile, Monmouth, Sr. DB - Taylor Henkle, Kennesaw State, R-Jr. DB - Shadarius Hopkins, Charleston Southern, Jr. DB - Chris Turner, Liberty, R-Jr.
SPECIAL TEAMS – SCHOOL - YR PK - Alex Probert, Liberty, So. P - Trey Turner, Liberty, Gr. LS - Hunter Winstead, Liberty, Gr. KR - Frankie Hickson, Liberty, R-So.
PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Tyrell Maxwell, Sr., QB, Gardner-Webb
PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Anthony Ellis, Sr., DL, Charleston Southern
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